Why Does Gen-Z Prefer Instagram over Facebook?


Growing up, we all thought millennials were obsessed with technology and social media. But, Gen Zs have taken this obsession to a whole new level. 

Teenagers use Instagram more than any other social media platform and use Facebook the least. If you ask them, they’ll say; “Facebook is now for old people.” 

This rhetoric has become more popular with time and doesn’t look like it’ll be changing soon. The Gen Z population are the true digital natives born at the advent of technology and digital communication. 

Typically,  the oldest of this generation are young adults in their early 20s, and they all seem to follow the same trend of ditching Facebook for Instagram.

In this post, you will learn why Gen Z’s prefer Instagram to Facebook. You’ll also get some basic information about Gen Z in the social space and find out the reasons behind their media choices.

Gen Z and their Social Space

Gen Z is notoriously famous for never letting go of their phones. You may wonder why, but the reason is quite simple. They have only known a time when people can send WhatsApp messages, call on facetime, and order food online. 

The concept of post offices, mailrooms, telegrams, fax machines, or typewriters naturally seems alien. To be fair, they pioneered the new age of digital technology and have little need for those old technologies. 

Moreover, they seem to understand how modern communication technologies work more than the millennials who came before them. 

Today, Instagram is one of the most popular social spaces on the planet, with more than one billion active users. 

Out of this population, Gen Zs make up more than fifty percent of Instagram’s total users.

Instagram vs Facebook: Gen Z vs Millennials?

For starters, Facebook boasts about 2.8 billion monthly users compared to Instagram’s 1 billion. This may seem surprising considering how the younger demographics prefers the latter to the former.

However,  Facebook is still leading the race in terms of active users. Meanwhile, Instagram boasts of more engagements and interactions.

Both platforms are owned by the same company. Each one allows you to share very similar content including stories, pictures, and videos. You can easily like another person’s post, share, drop a comment, or follow anyone of your choice on either platform. 

So what’s the major difference between these two platforms? Why do the Gen Z folks favor one a lot more than the other?

The answer lies in the target audience. As similar as the two platforms seem, they are also very different. As such, each app attracts a unique kind of audience.

Typically, Facebook is used to share textual content, while Instagram users use the platform to share pictures and videos.

You could argue that since Facebook holds 2.74 billion of the active 3.78 billion social media users globally, it should unquestionably be the go-to platform for every generation. Besides, facebook is also the second most visited website in the world behind the great Google. 

But still, Facebook’s target audience consists of millennials and older adults, unlike many of the other popular social media apps that exist today.

In contrast, Instagram has grown rapidly among the youths. And today, nearly 70% of 18 to 30-year-olds use Instagram. 

This shows that more than half of the world’s Instagram users are 30 years or younger. After Snapchat, Instagram is next in line as the second most used social media app by Gen Zs. 

Simply put, unlike Facebook, Instagram is geared towards a much younger audience.

Also, Instagram users focus more on photography, fashion, design, and beauty, to name a few. At the same time, Facebook users populate their profiles with politics, health, and business.

It is no coincidence that 74% of Facebook users have a higher income because they consist mainly of adults over 30. This attracts more like-minded users like adults who want to promote their business or add their political views. 

Bottom line is, when Gen Zs find themselves in such a space as Facebook, they are unable to express their primary interests. As such, they prefer to go to other social media platforms where they can.

Reasons Why the Gen-Z Prefer Instagram to Facebook 

Now that we have gone through some basic differences between Facebook and Instagram, let’s understand why Gen-Z prefers Instagram to Facebook for their social media.

  • They Prefer Visuals

Unlike other generations, Gen Zs favor social media platforms involving less texts and more visuals. 

For example, only a little more than 50% of U.S. teenagers use Facebook. This shows that the days of writing long Facebook posts and reading Facebook blogs are gradually fading away for teens.

Good examples of visually-oriented social media platforms include Instagram and Snapchat. This is why the two apps are more popular amongst the younger folks.

The apps are engaging to several people because of the different pictures and videos they offer. A super-fast car, a great vacation, a nice fashion statement, or an awesome concert is best communicated with videos and pictures. All these are associated more with Instagram than they are with Facebook.

  • Gen-Z Enjoy Entertaining Content More Than Constant Interaction 

Unlike the Gen-Zs, millennials mostly use their social media to keep up with their friends, family, business partners, and personal interests. In contrast, Gen Zs use social media more as a source of branded mass entertainment.

Gen-Zs are more likely to follow social media influencers or other popular trends than solely interact with their friends. Although they sometimes catch up with their families and close friends on the app, they primarily seek entertainment.

For instance, earlier millennials used social media to constantly check out their families and peers’ updates. 

However, the younger generations prefer to use social media for content consumption and sometimes as time-fillers.

This makes them have a low threshold for advertisements, long-worded posts, and serious business conversations. 

  • Gen Zs Appreciate Digital Privacy 

Gen-Zs, more than any other generation, understand that social media has the power to create as well as destroy. They harness that power and are very respectful towards it, unlike the more free-spirited millennials who are not overly concerned about public image. 

Gen-Zs prefer anonymous platforms that allow users to control the specific audiences who see their content. 

They completely believe that their behavior and appearance on social media can impact their future, including their jobs, dating prospects, and even credit scores. Instagram addresses this desire for digital privacy and hence is a better option for Gen Zs.

With Facebook’s history of data theft and sharing personal information, it is no surprise that younger individuals drift towards Instagram. 

In comparison, older generations are typically less cyber-aware, and they don’t attach zealous importance to personal privacy. At least not with the same determination as Gen Z.

The Significance of Gen Z’s Social Media Choices

It is clear that Gen Zs value Instagram over Facebook. But what are the implications of this choice for the social media space? 

Businesses worldwide look to harness the power of social media to grow their brand through advertising, adopting media campaigns, visual interactions, media surveys, and many more.

Understanding this generation’s social media habits and preferences will go a long way in marketing and brand influencing. Presently, most social media influencers on Instagram amongst Gen Zs act as valuable media sensation for advertising and brand perception.

Media influencers can reach out to a larger audience on their platform. What is special about these influencers is that they supervise a loyal fan base that puts a good amount of trust in them. 

Several online brands and companies know that if a product is presented positively by an Instagram influencer, it is viewed as more trusted and favorable. Things essentially means that more users will go out of their way to put faith in a product because of a positive reaction from one of their influencers.

Furthermore, understanding the media trajectory of Gen Zs provides companies, start-ups, and entrepreneurs with the right ideas and innovations to bring into the market. Social media apps like TikTok and Snapchat were created by analyzing young adult and teen media users.

This knowledge also comes in handy for social media owners like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. They can specifically target a certain audience for advertisements and promotions. These owners can easily reach out to Gen Z’s audience sphere and help companies market products and services.

Facebook and Instagram rake in millions in revenue through targeted advertisements every year. Much of that is earned from knowing their audience’s media choices and interests. 

Summing Up

Social media giants  like Facebook and Instagrams are great at what they do and offer numerous features. Although Instagram is more favored by Gen Z’s, both work well for audiences and creators.

With time, Gen Z’s habits are predicted to evolve. Within a few years, their generation, which expressed a solid preference for Instagram or TikTok, may find themselves being frequent Facebook users or even a new social media of that time.